A Shot at the Star

Hip-hop MC Priceless Diamonds describes herself as a “boss bitch” who grew up boosting clothes and turning the occasional trick. She’s no angel, but she’s got advice. So listen up, y’all.

What’s your New Year’s resolution?

For one, to step my game up in every area of my life. Meaning closing deals, finishing books and making deadlines. Work out three or four days a week at Gold’s Gym in Westport. I have a membership there, but I never go. I need to go ahead and get my money’s worth. Listen more. Be more of a friend and appreciate what I have. I have a New Year’s motto: “Show up or die.” Meaning you gotta be there to get it; you’re not going to get it sitting at home. You feel me? When I used to network, people told me I needed to be exclusive and not be seen all over the place, but then I talked to Russell Simmons, and he was like, no, you get that hit record, you need to be in everyone’s faces everywhere.

Oh, and clean out my closet, too. I gotta clean up my closet for the new year.

Would you vote for a female president?

Hell, yeah. Women work more off their emotions — they’re more mental than physical. They might have more sympathy for, you know, America. This current president done wore us out, first with 9/11, then Hurricane Katrina.

Besides Hillary or Oprah, I gotta think of who I’d vote for. Angelina Jolie is shrewd and cold enough to run it, and she’d do the humanitarian thing.

It’s sad I can’t think of another strong black woman. Robin Givens is a good one; she’s a gold digger. While Bush is over there digging for oil, she’s digging for money. Vanessa Williams? Nah, they done took her crown away. And Condi? I don’t like her. She ain’t teaching us no lessons.
Got a question only Priceless can answer? E-mail her at boss.bitch@pitch.com.

A Shot at the Star

The Kansas City Star hasn’t even christened its new glass-house printing press, but it has become the victim of a sports-page-worthy cliché.

The Star is offering a $1,000 bounty for the identity of the persons responsible for firing bullets and ball bearings at the $200 million press, which will begin splattering ink against dead trees later this year. So far, 46 windows have been struck. At four grand a window, that’s $184,000 added to the price tag of a place that has yet to open. Maybe that’s why the Star has filled some of them with plywood.

The plant’s location could explain the vandalism, concedes Ted Beer, a principal at Burns & McDonnell, the building’s general contractor. Its most prominent neighbor is an expressway entrance ramp, where vandals can speed off gloating about another crack in the Star‘s façade. “It’s a pretty easy location to take a shot at and make an escape,” Beer admits. “Windows aren’t designed to take bullets.”

However, Star publisher Mac Tully tells Backwash in an e-mail that there are no regrets. “Wherever I go, people stop me to compliment the paper on the design of the new facility,” he says. The vandalism, Tully adds, is “a nuisance that needs to be addressed.”

If the reward doesn’t work and windows continue to shatter, downtown’s future could include an eight-story wall of plywood.

Net Prophet

Tonyskansascity.com is often cheeky and porn-filled. But it has also become one of the metro’s most popular blogs because of its kick-you-in-the-nuts commentary from Tony Botello. Take his January 4 post, headlined “Say a little prayer for Kansas City.” Here’s an excerpt:

Last night there was a prayer vigil/march/protest/travesty on behalf of Lamonte M. Livingston, the man who was shot to death by the KCPD after allegedly punching an officer in the face and seriously injuring an officer with a machete.

This vigil/farce should probably answer all your questions about the murder rate in Kansas City. On television, Livingston’s mother and relatives wept for him and ask why he was shot and yet fail to mention that he was reportedly carrying a machete. I can think of several instances where people in this town have been unjustly persecuted by the KCPD but nobody can claim they were just minding their own business while carrying a foot long blade.

The attempt to spin this shooting into a political debate about police brutality or racism is not only a cynical ploy but also provides evidence that a few members of the (Black) community are hopelessly out of touch when it comes to escalating violence IN THEIR COMMUNITY and the role of law enforcement in remedying that situation. Put simply, you can’t bitch and whine about the entire community killing each other and then scorn the police for simply defending themselves in the same breath.

And just to prove I’m not one of those “back the badge” creeps, I must maintain that my support of the KCPD in this instance is not based on principal but merely practicality. Everybody in this town (should) know the score. You do not threaten the KCPD and expect to live long…

And yet the hypocrisy from the people who demand answers for Livingston’s death is exactly the kind of thing that makes fighting crime in minority communities so difficult and ultimately futile. The “answer” is that the guy made the unfortunate mistake of attacking police with a big ass blade; and for that there is no second chance. All over this town there are other instances of minorities “leaders” who fail to acknowledge the drug dealers, gangsters, thugs but mostly drug dealers in their own community that contribute to the same crime that the leaders rally against.

As a Latino in this town, I’ve seen far too many known drug dealers held up as martyrs and victims. However, I knew these people for what they were and while their deaths were tragic they were in no way undeserved.

Of course there will always be cases of people persecuted unjustly, and more than likely those people will be Black or Latino. However, not every minority killed by the police is a martyr and not every victim of violence is completely innocent.

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